Saturday, January 29, 2011

Back on (the Short) Track

Loading paper into a boxcar at the Blue Heron paper mill in Oregon City.

Rail activity has returned to the "short track" in Oregon City's Blue Heron paper mill. Contrary to my concerns expressed on January 17, on Thursday the track was cleared and that night the OC Switcher spotted two cars for loading, which was going on today. Am I exhibiting OCD tendencies by paying so much attention to a single industrial siding? Probably. But the Blue Heron mill and its nightly switching by a Class I railroad's local freight train are anachronisms of 21st century railroading. They are vestiges of an earlier age, an age when local rail freight service was more common, and America itself was centered more on primary industries.


LouT1501 said...

Didn't you say that they switch the short track with their switch engines? Making a hook on the car has to be difficult given the curve.

Thanks for posting, Scott!

Scott Lothes said...

Yes, and they have to pull and place cars one at a time due to the severity of the curve (saw that one night last fall). I think they butt knuckles when spotting cars.